If like me, you’d prefer your Fiat 500 to have a bit more muscle, then Abarth is where you ought to be heading to. The Abarth 500 offers all the quirkiness of a 500 delivered in a beefed-up package. Abarth have now created a 500 convertible to line up beside its hardtop sibling, fittingly named the 500C.
Finished in two-tone paint, sitting on 17” white diamond alloy wheels, wearing a front splitter and a rear race-style diffuser with twin exhausts, the 500C points towards its sporting potential from the outset.
The 1.4 turbo T-Jet delivers 140hp, it uses all of these horses to deliver an involving drive. The Abarth 500C is more than nippy, in Sport mode it’s proper quick and easily out-runs larger higher performance cars. Despite the car’s impressive performance, it still manages to return a very healthy 6.5 L/100km on a combined cycle. The handling is impressive, thanks to its stiffer springs and dampers, which don’t encroach on the comfort of the ride. With the canvas roof fully retracted, the car’s side roof rails remain in place, thus helping to retain the car’s structural rigidity. The ‘Abarth Competizione’ transmission which comes fitted as standard, is an automated manual gearbox with steering-wheel paddle shifters. Whilst the chrome paddles look the part, the gear changes are somewhat jerky on the up-shifts, however, if you lift off the throttle slightly whilst changing gear, a smooth gear-change can be achieved. Inside, the cabin remains as quiet as the 500C’s hardtop derivative.
If you fancy an Abarth 500C for yourself it will cost you an estimated €26,500. I say estimated, because you’ll have to personally import one as there are no Abarth dealerships in Ireland at present. The good news, is that Fiat Ireland are examining the possibility of opening an Abarth dealership in Dublin.[table “7” not found /]